1988. Summer. My sister (younger by 26 months) and I were bff’s with Michelle Gavin and Star Pound. Brenda, Star’s mom worked so we had Star’s apartment to ourselves. Also, Brenda shopped at Costco and kept the place stocked with giant jars of Now and Laters. This was obviously our favorite place to chill... MTV on, we were right across from the pool, eating candy for lunch!!! #noparents
For the life of me I cannot remember how or why this went down…. Flash to this…My 8-year-old sister is positioned on the outside of the second story balcony. I am saying “Just jump. You will land on your feet like a cat.”
**I want to state clearly for the record, I loved (and still do love) my sister. I was not trying to talk her into some weird suicide pact or anything. I legit thought that she would land on her feet.
Me and my sis. <3
She was ready to jump and changed her mind. She decides to climb back over the rail when she slipped and fell. I run to the edge and see her laying on the ground.
I jump over after her!!! Just kidding. I’m not stupid. I ran out the front door and around the apartment building. I see my little sister just lying on the ground, not moving. My first thought….” What an exaggerator!”
**I am also writing my acceptance speech for the Lifetime Sister Achievement Award. More to come on that. It hasn’t been announced yet but I am certain it’s all me. #bestsisterintheworld #number1bigsis
I race over to her, about the same time as some neighbors are arriving. “She is fine!!”
“I don’t think I am.” She looks pathetic and sounds even worse.
“You’re just in shock.” Dr. Charity in the house.
“She probably needs an ambulance.” A concerned neighbor chimes in.
‘Nope. I’ve got her.” I recruit Star to help me carry her home and Michelle ran ahead to get my parents.
A neighborhood teen, Kenny, for whom my sister had a crush, came out and took her from me and carried her until we met my dad. Clearly, everyone but me could see this was a big deal.
Well, as it turned out, she had a broken leg, a purple cast (of which I was jealous), and learned the joys of voyeurism while watching the rest of us swim while she sat in her cast.
April remembers Dad carrying her home fussing at and consoling her at the same time. I remember being prepared for a serious spanking or groundation that never came.
Obviously, even from an early age I made 100% great decisions. Wait! What? No? IKR. When I look back on my life I realize that I have a natural attraction to doing dumb shit. It’s like I am just drawn to it. But the good news is, once I am burned, I typically learn.
Here is some of the lessons I’ve learned doing dumb shit in real estate.
Under renovating a flip. The thing about flipping is that you need to have the best house on the block, in the neighborhood, in the area. This is how you make money. You do not make money by saving a buck. You make dough by spending it. In the beginning, I thought that I should rehab to suit a neighborhood or price point. NO!!!!!! Every home should be top of the line. Sure, I can save a couple of bucks with Formica counters in the renovation but I will lose in holding cost and concessions in the end by not putting granite in that kitchen.
Buying too high. You ensure your profit when you buy; not when you sell. You need to buy the house with the plan that you are intending to flip the $%^& outta that house. IDC if it is in the worst neighborhood you have ever seen you still need to flip that house like pancakes. With that in mind, we need to understand that we will make a lot of offers before one gets accepted. I have seen this as the most difficult part for a flipper….waiting. We tend to get impatient and start to over bid. When we do this, we are forced to cut our own profit short. We have to cut corners on the rehab and just wish for the best. Have I done this? You betcha!!!
Over estimating the value of your flip. This one is as bad and common as the afore. Let’s be real, our flip is our baby and like all good parents we think our kid is the best. We look right past the snot and cookie dried on their little dirty face and see this little perfect person. The rest of the world sees that our kid needs to learn about tissues and wash clothes. Same with houses. We see past the yard that is void of grass and the peeling paint and see the design we have in mind for the kitchen. This is a tough place for us to get past as we are all a bit narcissistic when it comes to our real estate babies. Realize this, your house is NOT worth more than the comps. Period. IDC what you do to it. “Charity, what if I add on?” Don’t. It is not worth it. “Charity, I am putting in all new stuff.” So? It is still not worth more than the other homes. It will just sell faster with less concessions.
Not using your llc for purchases. “But, Charity I am not a flipper. I want to hold.” This one is for you mainly. Quickly, flippers, buying with an LLC offers you protection for the duration of the flip, especially if you are borrowing money (conventional, hard, or private). Holders, an LLC offers you protection for the entire time you own or control the property. This is a mistake I have made only once and it screwed me with the tenacity of a date rapist on Adderall. I can tell you that I have been saved by an LLC NUMEROUS times. So, spend the $100 and 15 minutes to protect yourself. #thecondomofbusiness
Which brings me to……
Not taking good advice. Once upon a time….. the only time I learned from advice was when I didn’t take it. The retrospect of “shoulda just listened” bit me on the backside more than once. It’s not just me. We all do it. We like to think we just know. We just know stuff. Or when you get conflicting advice…who do you listen to. I now like to bring a few things into the equation. First, what is the motive of the person offering advice? Second, do they REALLY know anything about this topic or are they just quoting something they have heard before? And finally, DOES IT MAKE SENSE?
These have been the things that have been my biggest setbacks, losses, and WTFFFFF moments. Had it not been for these things, I would be much more wealthy but my blogs would be boring af. You’re welcome!!!
Happy Investing My Real Estate Junkies!!!
I was born an entrepreneur. I am pretty certain that I was peddling passies in the hospital when the nurses left the room.All of the other kids in the neighborhood were riding bikes and playing with dolls I was selling jewelry out of a catalogue and creating a back yard consignment shop. At 21 I became a real estate investor and fell in love. This was/is/ and always will be my passion. I have been madly in love with flipping, holding, and writing offers on real estate that seem crazy for 18 years. Ladies and gents I am willing to share the love of my life with you. Maybe its polyamory maybe its jut because I can’t shut up about it. Either way I will be sharing every mistake I ever made and the lesson that came from it. I love questions. Please ask away!!!